The university held an open forum last Thursday so area residents could question law enforcement and campus officials about their plans for Halloween weekend.
Officials held the meeting in Isla Vista Theater at 8 p.m. and fielded questions spanning from the availability of on-campus parking permits and technical issues such as street closure times to expected increases in police, fire and rescue personnel. In particular, public debate concentrated on how to prevent visitors during Halloween.
Sergeant Matthew Bowman, public information officer for UCSB’s Police Department, said the community must work together to promote the holiday weekend as a locals-only event.
The student-run Keep It Safe, Keep It Local Campaign, a concerted effort to reduce out-of-town visitors during Halloween weekend, was hailed by Bowman as one of several active examples of UCSB students taking initiative to keep I.V. Halloween exclusive to the area.
“It is going to have to be a cultural decision that the community makes to keep it local and keep it safe,” Bowman said. “A lot of out-of-towners do not respect Isla Vista the same way we do, and the students have begun to take note.”
Chris Zbinden, Enforcement Supervisor for Transportation and Public Services, said students should move their vehicles off the streets and park them on campus.
“By all means, please get yourself a pass because as UCSB students, you are eligible for parking,” Zbinden said. “I would hate to have to see you go through the stress of having to find a spot yourself.”
Vehicles are prohibited to park on Del Playa Drive and Sabado Tarde Road from 3 p.m. Friday until 6 a.m. Monday. Residents will need to find alternative parking on campus or elsewhere in Isla Vista during this time.
Representatives from I.V. Foot Patrol also attended the public hearing. I.V. Foot Patrol Lt. Ray Vuillemainroy addressed issues including the weekend’s festival ordinance and increased law enforcement.
“One of the big ones that may catch students by surprise is the noise ordinance,” Vuillemainroy said. “There will not be any amplified music after 6 p.m. for the entire week from the 25th of October until the 4th of November.”
Vuillemainroy also said officers will do their utmost to prevent sexual violence and harassment throughout the weekend.
“If we witness any type of sexual battery, those people are going to be arrested. And if we hear any type of catcalling, we will try to put a stop to that as well,” Vuillemainroy said. “And of course we will have plain-clothes deputies looking for that sort of thing.”
Despite an increase in law enforcement during the upcoming weekend, Vuillemainroy said it will fall on students to maintain a healthy atmosphere.
“At the Sheriff’s Department, we want to create a safer environment,” Vuillemainroy said. “If it were up to me, there would be less infractions. I am hoping that people will educate themselves, which would help to make it a more peaceful environment.”